I just bought an Audient iD22, and I cannot stop listening to Fairchildren ever since hearing it through the iD's DAC. The huge dynamic range is so addictive. Why on earth is most popular music smashed to oblivion with compression?

Ott responded on 03/08/2016

Because at some point in the '90s the tools became available to 'transparently' limit transients and increase the density of recordings, which sounded exciting to engineers at the time.

If you listen to records made in the 1980s when digital reverbs had just been invented, everything is smothered with big, bright, fizzy reverb. Listen to George Michael's 'Careless Whisper' [for as short a time as you need to confirm my observation] and note that it is approximately 85% Lexicon 480 by weight.

When the technology to create stereo records appeared during the 1960s, studio bods were so taken with their new toy you ended up with such stupidity as drums panned hard left and the bass hard right, with the vocals and trumpets panning wildly between the speakers.

Or the invention of tape flanging - listen to 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men' by Status Quo for an example of how much flanging is too much.

New process gets invented, engineers go apeshit with it. Then they calm down. That's all.

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